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  • Occupying_Education_paper_for_AJAL

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    Embargo ends: 30/11/20

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Reconceptualising activism for a pedagogy of struggle: Occupying education, the power of the empty signifier for the future of education

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/11/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Australian Journal of Adult Learning
Issue number3
Volume59
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)389-404
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

The global Occupy! actions gave some pause for thought. At first, some thought that this was a global movement that could change the way politics was conducted and maybe see the end of capitalism as we knew it. The hopes for Occupy! were high, but the highest hopes for the movement were short lived. This paper examines Occupy!’s legacy; what potential remains and where educators might go with it. An argument is presented that Occupy! became an empty signifier: a ‘bucket’ of discontent into which thousands of disjointed, dissenting voices and discontents were poured, ranging from the original Wall Street encampment to the Umbrella revolution in Occupy Central. The paper looks at the power of the ‘empty signifier’ as a galvanising mechanism and explores what this could mean for education. The notion of occupying the curriculum in HE will be explored as a unifying mechanism for multidisciplinary teaching and learning.